Double Damage in the Old Dominion

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wanderingjew
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Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Sun, 05/16/10 10:49 PM
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I've been planning on a  return visit  to Richmond Virginia for quite some time. Due to circumstances that are apparently no longer relevant, last weekend was the perfect opportunity to spend a four day weekend in the Old Dominion.

Friday May 7

I had an early flight out of TF Green with a quick layover in Baltimore. I landed in Norfolk , got my rental car and was on the road
heading to Richmond by 10 AM.

My first destination was a roadfood spot mentioned on numerous occasions by Wheregreggeats



Stuart's Fresh Catch

a takeout only seafood market  also serving as a very popular lunch spot right on Mechanicsville Pike in Richmond...








I knew I knew I wanted fried fish but the menu overwhelmed me. The lady behind the counter recommended Spot but warned me that there would be bones in the fish.

The meal comes with two sides and a choice of hushpuppies or spoon bread. Well apparently Stuart's is known for their spoon bread, so the decision was easy..



I decided to get cabbage and fried okra with my meal.




The spoon bread was definitely the star of the meal. A little sweeter than what I've had in the past, for those not familiar with spoon bread, think biscuits in a thick, firm pudding form.

The lady behind the counter wasn't joking when she said there would be bones in the fish. The spot would have been much more enjoyable had it been deboned prior to frying. If I ever return, I would try the lake trout or whiting next time since that is served boneless. The cabbage was quite peppery and the fried okra was good.

Although eating in my rental car  didn't help, this could have been a great meal, if it wasn't for all of the fish bones.

After lunch, I had all afternoon to explore and being the history buff that I am, I decided to check out



The Cold Harbor Battlefield.

This is where Lee managed to Stall Grant and the Union army's progress towards Richmond

You can tour by car, or walk the trail. Of course I decided to walk the trail since it was a beautiful warm afternoon.





After getting lost on the trail, I ended up walking alot more than I anticipated in order to get back to the park entrance.
I then drove up the road to the Garthright House






apparently this house also served as a field hospital. Unfortunately there was no entry allowed into the house itself.

I then drove towards Richmond  and stopped at the Diamond



Former Home of the Richmond Braves, the Triple A team for the Atlanta Braves, ironically the ballpark was modeled back in the 80's  after Atlanta's former Fulton County Stadium.

The Diamond is now current home of the



Richmond Flying Squirrels the double A team for the San Francisco Giants.
Although they were away last weekend, I did have an opportunity to get inside the ballpark and get some photos.











Afterwards I headed towards downtown Richmond and  walked around the Historic Shockoe Slip district which is adjacent to downtown. I was disappointed to find out that my favorite brewpub The Richbrau Brewpub had shut it's doors for good. I did end up having a fantastic Iced Coffee at Shockoe Espresso and Roastery.

After heading east of town to check into my motel, I headed back to town to a place that has been mentioned several times
here on Roadfood.



Buz and Ned's Real BBQ

Swarming with college kids  I wasn't sure what to expect

Shortly after arriving, I met up with roadfooder Williamsburger who works nearby.

We shared some excellent sweet potato fries. Hot and crispy and fresh from the fryer, they were dusted with cinnamon and sugar.



As Williamsburger and I were chatting, our  final guest arrived, Buffetbuster.

Now it was time to order some "Q"

The three of us agreed to order our Q and sides in bulk versus ordering separate meals.

We started out with some hushpuppies



and moved on to cinnamon bourbon apples





and then went down to serious busines with some pulled pork and cole slaw




and of course a half a rack of spare ribs.





The hushpuppies were "ok"  with a slightly crisp exterior, corny with a hint of onion. The cinnamon bourbon apples were surprisingly good and reminded me of good homemade apple pie filling, My only regret is that I didn't get more.

The ribs were decent, very meaty with a charred exterior. I thought the sauce on the pulled pork had a peculiar taste that really  didn't agree with me at all. At first I thought it was my imagination, but the more I ate, the more I disliked it.

Overall I thought  Buz and Neds was a little north of mediocre, I dont' think it lived up to the hype. I've been to better bbq joints.

After our meal, we said our goodbyes and I returned back to my hotel. It was a long day, and there's lots more to come.

nitb4tempest
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 2:37 AM
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I'm glad to hear that you made it to Virginia! I'm excited to see the rest of your trip report; I'm anxious to see if you swung by Charlottesville, it's a great little town. And it is the home to the University of Virginia, go Wahoos!

buffetbuster
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 8:25 AM
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WJ-
Only two places to eat on Saturday?  Thank goodness I showed up to set you on the proper path!

I'm not normally a fan of fried apples, but those cinnamon bourbon apples at Buz & Ned's were quite good.  The rest of the food was just okay. 

wanderingjew
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 9:26 AM
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nitb4tempest

Unfortunately we did not make it to Charlottesville. Stay tuned for Part 2 tonight.

Buffetbuster

Actually that was Friday.
Chi Town Diner has taught you well young Buffetbuster

mar52
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 9:40 AM
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Excellent!  Virginia is a place I'd like to revisit.  Haven't been since 1975.

Sorry about the bones, but it does look good.  

I particularly love your baseball field photos.  Very arty!  My favorite is the seats going to the right.

Then I scrolled down to the seats going to the left and I found that that photo bothered me.  So does that that.

Can't wait for the rest of the photos and commentary.

Thanks!

Nancypalooza
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 9:56 AM
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So do they maybe serve ice cream to go along with those apples?  They look nummers.

buffetbuster
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 3:02 PM
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I hope I don't break wj's momentum here, but after landing in Norfolk on Friday afternoon, the first stop was at the Roadfood reviewed Megallon's BBQ.  Situated just a few miles from the airport, it was extremely convenient before the drive to Richmond.

Having never been in the area before, I wondered if there would be any difficulty in finding it.  But with the bright pink exterior

and the large sign

with a piggy face, it would have been impossible to miss.  My first piece of advice:  don't park here if you aren't a customer!


The inside is tiny, with about 10 counter seats and a couple small tables.  I ordered a pork bbq sandwich and was asked if I wanted cole slaw on the sandwich.  The answer to that question is always a big yes!  I asked the friendly owner which side he recommended.  He told me the beans were homemade, while some of the other sides were not.  So beans it was!

The pork was finely chopped and was plenty moist.  The sweet, creamy cole slaw completed a very good sandwich.  As you can see, he was generous with the beans, which were doctored up with pork and the sweet, tangy bbq sauce.

For dessert, I passed up the pecan pie and tried the cream sherry cake. 

It tasted like regular ol' pound cake, but was still a fine way to end my quick meal.

While the food gets good marks from me, the best reason to visit Megallon's is for the genuine Roadfood atmosphere.  The owner is a real character and to listen to him chat with one of his regulars, they kept me laughing the entire time I was here.  The main topic of conversation was the owner telling the story of his wife dragging him to see the movie Reds back in the 80s.  Needless to say, he did not like the movie much and said he would rather have a root canal than sit through that again.  Also, there is a bumper sticker near the cash register that advertises Megallon's as "Home of the Dancing Pig".  I asked about that and was treated to another great story!

Oh, one more piece of advice for eating at Megallon's BBQ.  Keep your complaints to yourself! 


(The little red tag has a #1 on it) 

Megallon's Gourmet Barbecue
2424 E. Little Creek Road
Norfolk, VA
757-531-1131

 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/6920/megallons-gourmet-bbq

From there, it was straight to Richmond, where I met up with WJ and Williamsburger.

<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 05/18/10 1:30 PM>

i95
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 4:14 PM
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I wonder if wj will post that one shot of me, him and buffetbuster breaking bread

in the Old Domimion. Afterall, it's not often that I wear white when eating 'que.


Ahi Mpls.
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 4:26 PM
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  LOL! Beautiful.  

Nancypalooza
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 5:31 PM
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Gawd that pound cake looks nice.  And why do barbecue places go to the color pink so often?  I get the pig thing but you'd think the pink thing wouldn't be next.

wanderingjew
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 9:15 PM
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Nancypalooza,

The cinnamon bourbon apples would have gone great with vanilla ice cream

Buffetbuster


How did Megallons pork sandwich compare with the others we checked out?





wanderingjew
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 10:29 PM
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Saturday May 8

I woke up early to grab a couple of cups of java at Lamplighter Roasting an up and coming coffeehouse in the Fan District.  I was tempted to get one of the fresh peanut covered donuts they had from a local donut shop, but had to resist temptation and save myself for breakfast. The dark roast was not as strong as I would have liked, but the coffee house had a nice courtyard.

Buffetbuster and I met at one of my favorite breakfast spots in the country



McClean's  Restaurant
 a real classic neighborhood joint with a "good ol' boy" atmosphere






I knew what I was getting, the "big breakast"

which comes with choice of fried apples and buttery grits



along with



eggs, biscuit and choice of meat. In my case bologna. This isn't the supermarket version, but a real deep- dark- rich macho thick hunka bologna.

I also ordered  a delicious slab of salty and oinky country ham but could barely finish half of it after my big breakfast.



After breakfast we drove around Monument Avenue admiring many of the statues of the confederate war heros including


 
J.E.B Stuart




Robert E. Lee



Jefferson Davis





and Stonewall Jackson





Can anyone guess which Civil War hero this is? I'll give you a hint, his primary weapon was a tennis racket!


After our monument venture, we headed off to University of Richmond so Buffetbuster could get his T-Shirt.


We were expecting an urban campus but were pleasantly surprised at the tranquil surroundings. I'm not big on touring college campuses, but this one is truly a keeper.

Since we ate lightly (In Chi Town Diner terms) for breakfast. It was now time for lunch.
After doing some research, we decided to check out



Mama Mary's Sugar & Spice


a gen-u-ine soul food restaurant located in an unassuming cinder block building



(I noticed Buffetbuster has gotten in a few of my photos)

Unfortunately we were told that Mama Mary is no longer with us



But here she is peering at us from the menu.

The meal starts with warm toasted corn bread



We ended up splitting a couple of meals  and decided on the




Smothered pork chops in gravy. These were tender meaty chops- fork tender in a deliciously deep dark gravy.

and




succulent Fried Chicken

Our sides included



Candied Yams and Collards

as well as




Green Beans and Mac N Cheese

I thought the green breans and collards were ordinary but the Mac n Cheese and Candies Yams were spectacular.

If at this point of the meal, we questioned if Mama Mary's is roadfood worthy? Then dessert certainly sealed my decision

A huge slice of sweet potato pie




and a gigantic dish of peach cobbler



both were extraordinary, in fact this was undoubtedly the best sweet potato pie I've ever had!

Mama Mary's has been the best meal so far, but will it be the best meal of the entire trip? You'll have to wait and see.

After lunch we headed back into downtown Richmond to take a tour of the John Marshall House. The longest serving Chief Justice in American History



Our tour guide was both enthusiastic and informative.


Afterwards  we took the drive up to Fredericksburg which took just under an hour.

Our first stop located in Fredericksburg's quaint town center was



Goorick's Pharmacy. A classic drugstore and lunch counter serving malts and shakes the old fashioned way..




I went with the Mocha Malt




It was a rich and creamy version of fresh ground coffee, unfortunately I could only finish half of it in order to make it to our next
stop...



Allman's Pit Cooked BBQ

An authentic classic bbq joint going way back..

Here is the menu display behind the counter..



I decided to get bar b que sandwich



The bbq pork is served "minced" style. The slaw was absolutely fantastic, creamy with just the right vinegar bite. Unfortunately I thought it overwhelmed the bbq itself , however there is no doubt that this was the best coleslaw I had on this trip!

As we left, I couldn't help but notice the pig head mounted on the wall behind the counter..



Our final stop in Fredericksburg was



Carl's
Ice Cream

At this point my appetite was reduced to



a small cup of vanilla ice cream.

The ice cream itself was very light, it reminded me of frozen cool whip. I wasn't very excited about it.

We then drove back to Richmond for the evening but not before observing this sign not too far from Carl's




Wow, talk about being enthusiastic about a buffet (is that an apostrophe between the "k" and the "e"??)

After watching the hockey playoffs later that evening between Pittsburgh and Montreal, we decided to make one last stop in Richmond for the night.
Unfortunately I do not have an photos (but Buffetbuster has!)

Phillips Continental Lounge

We walked in after 10PM. the kitchen closes at 10:30 pm.....

The place is a freakin college bar, true it's been around for 70 years, but we were wondering what was so special about this place? Don't get me wrong, there are many bars and taverns that are roadfood worthy, I even reviewed a few.
But this is a generic college bar that could be in "Anytown USA!!!"

Perhaps the food sets the tone. Buffetbuster ordered a cheeseburger and I ordered a grilled cheese possibly with bacon and tomato I don't remember. We shared an order of onion rings. The onion rings were actually pretty decent-however the grilled cheese was just "grilled cheese" and the burger was just  "a burger"... After going home I read the review in the 2008 edition of Roadfood and ironically both the burger and grilled cheese were given mention...

Not only was this the most dissapointing stop of the weekend,but I think I just found the first rotten tomato of 2010.

Afterwards we called it a night...

much more to come....







mar52
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/17/10 11:36 PM
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Vanilla?

Ha!  Sorry, but that's the first thing I thought.

Did you ask for a thick malt?  I have a fit when I ask for thick and it comes out straw suckable.  

I could certainly dive in to that Mama Mary's meal.  Delicious pictures!

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 1:09 AM
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WJ, that's not a pig head, as in what might go into barbeque. That's the had of a wild boar -- a Russian boar, I believe.

buffetbuster
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 8:33 AM
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wanderingjew

How did Megallons pork sandwich compare with the others we checked out?
The pork bbq sandwich at Pierce's Pitt was superior.


buffetbuster
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 9:31 AM
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Some more photos and thoughts about our stops:
 
Because there were going to be many food stops on this day, I ordered just the superb country ham at McLean's.   WJ mentioned the "good 'ol boy" atmosphere here, but you can't help but notice just how attractive all the waitresses are.
 
We tried to stop at the Marshall House before eating at Mama Mary's, but there was a sign at the door that read the next tour was at 11:15AM.  Since it was only 10:30, we didn't want to wait 45 minutes, so we decided to come back.  Later, WJ called to find out when the next tour was and the lady told him there was no set time, just walk in and they show you around.  I found this rather annoying and was going to bring it up when we went back.  But the lady was so friendly and enthusiastic, I didn't have the heart to give her a hard time.  Still, I wonder how many people this place shoos away with the sign.
 
The University of Richmond campus was shocking in it's beauty.  I had assumed it would be a typical urban campus, but it was heavily wooded and gorgeous!  Even better, I was able to pick up an excellent Spiders t-shirt and shorts.
 
Mama Mary's wasn't a complete home run, but was still a very worthy stop.  The mac & cheese, peach cobbler and sweet potato pie were all A+ dishes.  And the sweet tea

was extra strong and extra sweet.
 
At Goolrick's Pharmacy,

I got the cherry milkshake. 

Not as thick as I would prefer, but taste-wise it could not have been improved.  The two young guys seated next to us at the counter ordered root beer floats and I couldn't help but ask to take a photo of one.  Now this

is what a root beer float should look like!
 
Allman's Pit Cooked Bar-B-Q

gets an A+ for Roadfood atmosphere and friendly service, but the food gets a mere above average.  Both of us got pork bbq sandwiches, but I also tried a couple of sides. 

The beans were ordinary, but the ultra-mayoey potato salad was quite good.
 
It was my suggestion to stop at Carl's, a Fredricksburg institution.  WJ surprised me by calling it ice cream, but I have always known it to be frozen custard.  But after doing a little research, it apparently can't be called frozen custard because it doesn't meet the requirement for minimum level of egg yolks.  So, ice cream it is.  Truthfully, both the flavor and texture of my strawberry cone

were a disappointment.  But locals do love the place and there is always a long line here.

And here is WJ in action,

getting the perfect shot of his dairy treat.
 
 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 05/18/10 9:38 AM>

Ahi Mpls.
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 9:45 AM
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  So you had coffee in the "Fan District"  Please 'splain that to me..... Sports fans? Ceiling fans? silk fans?.......Also, is it located anywhere near the "Hammock District" ?     

Nancypalooza
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 11:22 AM
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Dale, your picture is of Arthur Ashe.

I really like the whole two-perspective thing going on.  The sides at Mama Mary's and the root beer float in particular look insanely good!  Nice job fellas!

mar52
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 11:31 AM
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Doesn't that root beer float have just the right amount of overflow?  Lovely!

BB, don't you just hate it when WJ is right?  J/K!!!

When the ice cream scoops are peaked like that, how do you get a double?  I worry about those things.

Anyone in Virginia ever hear of Hi's (or High's) Ice Cream?

Back in 1960 it was the place to go in Hopewell or Petersburg (I forget which) for ice cream.  They had a special cone that held 3 small scoops of different flavored ice cream.  Something that still makes me smile 50 years later.

wanderingjew
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 1:15 PM
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MH

And I thought it was some left over "Q"

Ahi


The Fan is a neighborhood in Richmond (think the West Bank or Dinkytown in Minneapolis) the reason why they call it the Fan is because the major streets converge and then fan out.

Nancypalooza

You win the prize!

Mar

That stuff they served at Carl's was certainly not custard, it doesn't even deserve to be called ice cream. Its frozen cool whip!


BelRose
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 1:22 PM
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Great pictures, now I know where to find a decent breakfast in Richmond.  As for BBQ, well… where I am originally from BBQ is just a fancy name for a sloppy joe, so I have no inbred bias about BBQ, but after eating all around Virginia (as state I now hold quite dear), I must come to the conclusion that for some reason the quality of BBQ drops the further you get from the North Carolina border.  Megallon’s is one of the best the state has to offer, while sadly I have found that both Buzz and Ned’s and Allman’s to be quite unimpressive.

JRPfeff
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 8:38 PM
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bb & wj -

I am really pleased to see this trip report.  I've been to Richmond several times on business and think it's an underrated RoadFood city.  I'm interested to see if your final stops include any of my other favorites.

Jim

wanderingjew
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 10:01 PM
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JRPfeff,

Our last stops were actually outside of Richmond, although my final stop in this excerpt of the trip report was actually about 25 miles outside of the city.

Sunday February 9

Although there were other coffee houses I wanted to check out, I  had to return to Lamplighter Roasting because all the other coffee houses didn't open until 9AM.

I was on the road towards Williamsburg. Buffetbuster had a plane to catch later that afternoon in Norfolk, so we took separate cars and met at our first stop of the day.



Pierces Pitt Bar-B-Que


My we both arrived about 10 minutes before the place opened at 10AM and we were the first cars in the parking lot.  My last visit was back in 2003 and I enjoyed my experience. Will it be as good now as it was then?



We were impressed with the size of those smokers
The place opened just in time.

I ordered a large pork sandwich



And it was just as good as I remembered. Just the right combination of smoke and sauce. Although you can add additional bbq sauce if you wish.   Now, if I just had that coleslaw from Allman's on top of THIS sandwich!

We also shared a side of sweet potato sticks



With a slightly crunchy exterior and



a creamy sweet potato interior....

These were my favorite sides when I previously visited, If I recall, I thought there other sides were nothing special....

Since this was the last bbq stop on the trip, I declare Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que to be the best BBQ of the trip!

While we were at Pierce's, Williamsburger called me as she and her husband, Terry will be meeting us at our next stop....

Part of the fun of getting to our next stop was a short 15 minute  car ferry ride across the James River

. The ferry was a short drive from Pierce's. As I followed Buffetbuster to the ferry entrance, the guard approached Buffetbuster and ended up searching his car for illegal contraband.  You never know when Buffetbuster might be trying to sneak some pie onto the vessel...

Here we are leaving the dock



Williamsburger and her husband, Terry, met us on the boat

I managed to grab a photo of them along with Buffetbuster.




It was just over a 5 minute drive  to our next stop and also Buffetbuster's final stop since he had a plane to catch..





The Surrey House Restaurant
in Surry (yes different spelling)
Previously written about in several of the Stern's Roadfood books,
we were wondering if it was still good..

As we entered, we approached a pig that was happy to greet us




As we sat down, the place filled up quickly..

Fresh rolls came to the table.



I started out with some creamy peanut soup..



I enjoyed the soup,  it does taste like "peanut butter bisque". Buffetbuster and I talked a few days later about the soup. He prefers the peanut soup at Southern Kitchen in New Market, I haven't been there in 10 years but remember it being very good.

The meal comes with a salad, sorry but I did not get any photos of the salad....

Finally our meals arrived...




I ordered the Country Ham. Rugged and salty was the best way to describe this, it was good, but it was missing something, then again, come think about the Country Ham at McClean's was also missing something....what could it be?????I know- RED EYE GRAVY!! I'm surprised at my self for not asking if they had any. Country Ham without red eye gravy is like peanut butter without jelly!  The meal comes with two sides. I chose Corn pudding which was the special of the day. I was disappointed with my corn pudding, for some reason, I was expecting a firmer consistency, but it reminded me of creamed corn. On the other hand the stewed tomatos were absolutely outstanding, the best I've ever had- Firm, rich and encased in a breading that lost it's consistency and melded into the tomatoes...

I also ended up taking a photo of someone else's meal. It could have been Terry's but I'm not 100% sure




Finally  I already knew what I was going to order for dessert..



Peanut Raisin Pie. 
I didn't know exactly what to expect prior to ordering, but it reminded me of pecan pie it was very sweet...Although I'm not a huge fan of pecan pie, the peanut pie wasn't bad, but I don't know if I would go out of my way to order it again...

Unfortunately Buffetbuster had to excuse himself right after lunch so that he can make his return flight home. Williamsburger, Terry and I spent a little more time at the restaurant before we said our goodbyes.

I had a few hours left in the afternoon to some exploring. Part of our lunch conversation was whether or not I was going to do Jamestown, Yorktown or a Plantation tour. After taking the ferry back to the other side of the James, I didn't think I would have enough time to thoroughtly explore Jamestown...so I headed back towards Richmond and took a tour of the Shirley Planation in
Charles City...



The Shirley Plantation is the oldest active plantation in Virginia and apparently the oldest family business in the US dating back to the 1600's!

The house tour was by appointment, so as I was waiting for the next tour I explored the grounds...














There was a sign noting that this tree is several hundred years old



This the James River



This is the plantation garden....

The plantation house tour itself was guided and very informative, apparently there are family members of the original owners that still live on the top floors of the house. Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed..

After I left the plantation, I ended up taking the scenic route (Route 5) back to Richmond...

My final meal stop of the day was  at



Tanglewood Ordinary
in Goochland County about 30 miles west of Richmond A "family style" restaurant in an old renovated house built back in the 1920's or 30's....

I thought that the name of the restaurant said it all.....I thought the meal (which is served family style) was very ordinary, In fact it reminded me alot of another ordinary restaurant I went to a few months earlier- Mrs. Wilkes in Savannah.

The meal began with Biscuits and Cornbread




and included



cole slaw



Green Beans...



some decent mashed potatos (which also came with a side gravy)



Some surprisingly good black eyed peas..



Stewed Tomatos which paled in comparison to the stewed tomatos I had at lunch..

An automatic course of fried chicken...



and a second course from a selection  of your choosing...




In my case it was North Carolina Q. In fact that waitress specifically had to let me know that it was North Carolina style as if she were trying to warn me of something...

And for dessert I had the Apple Cobbler A' La Mode



Which actually wasn't all that bad...

The whole meal was $25 which included automatic tax and gratuity- apparently this was the mother's day special..

Again, this wasn't a terrible meal, there was just nothing memorable about it other than the nice old fashioned converted house atmosphere....

Afterwards I headed back to my hotel for the evening...

I'll complete the final installment before the end of the week...


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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 10:18 PM
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wj,

Those were not the places I had in mind, but I never shy from driving to Williamsburg or crossing to Surry.  There is enough in that area to make for a really nice Roadfood.com eating tour.  I don't believe Richmond was nominated as a possibility in Michael Stern's thread.

My coworkers in Richmond have a real knack for diners and downhome places to eat.  They really showed me around.

Jim



mar52
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/18/10 10:29 PM
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Excellent!  I'm really enjoying this trip.  

The peanut soup is intriguing.  Off to Google it!

Thanks!

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 1:08 AM
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I remember the controversy over Arthur Ashe's statue being included in the hall of heroes.

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 9:40 AM
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Okay, my mind is a tiny bit blown here.  Is stewed tomatoes with something other than tomatoes in it a Virginia thing?  I'm completely unfamiliar with that.  I mean, we do stewed tomatoes with okra here all the time, but other than seasonings it's pretty much . . tomatoes and okra.   No breading or anything that I'm aware of.  Am I being a total newbie?

Also, Dale, I've had that same feeling before many times wishing I had a part of another barbecue joint's roster in front of me for part of my meal (in reference to the slaw on your sandwich).  As far as I'm concerned, only the barbecue joint in the afterworld is going to have the perfect combo of mains and sides.

I invite y'all to walk around the SC state house grounds and view all the memorials to shady dead white guys and the general 'African American History' monument that has a big sign noting that it was dedicated in 2001.  (eyeroll)

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 10:07 AM
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Even the food that hasn't gotten the best reviews looks good to me. Great photos and report.

Nancy, My mother's family comes from Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. My mother made stewed tomatoes the way her mother, grandmother and great grandmother did. It always had chunks of bread in it. Towards the end of the summer, maybe yellow squash or zucchini. Lots of salt, pepper and if they thought the tomatoes needed it, a pinch of sugar.

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 10:18 AM
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Zataar

I'm glad you answered Nancypalooza's question, because I certainly didn't have an answer. I do recall that the stewed tomates I had at the now defunct Lockhart's in Norfolk VA was prepared similarly, so perhaps its a mid south regional thing.

zataar
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 10:26 AM
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My husband's grandmother, whose family came from Ohio and Pennsylvania, never put anything in her stewed tomatoes but tomatoes. She also thought only  imperfect tomatoes should be used for stewed tomatoes. Never the nice ones.

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 10:39 AM
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Thanks Karen!  It sounds pretty good actually.

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 12:14 PM
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  In the Sterns' book "Real American Food" there is a recipe for Shockingly sweet stewed tomatoes...It has 28oz. of tomatoes, 8 slices white toast, 8 Tablespoons of butter, And 1 CUP of sugar!!! Yowza,it is super sweet but very very tasty.  It is from Hap Townes in Nashville...I fear that they have closed though...sigh. 

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 1:24 PM
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wanderingjew


Although there were other coffee houses I wanted to check out, I  had to return to Lamplighter Roasting because all the other coffee houses didn't open until 9AM.
 

 

 

Isn't that the oddest thing? Even my beloved...

 

 

...in the former Capital of the Confederacy doesn't

open its doors until 9:00 am each day.

 

Reminds me of the Mark Twainism (?) of when

the end of the world comes, he wants to be in

Virginia because everything in Virginia happens

25 years later.

 
 



wanderingjew
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 2:52 PM
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i95


wanderingjew


Although there were other coffee houses I wanted to check out, I  had to return to Lamplighter Roasting because all the other coffee houses didn't open until 9AM.
 

 

 

Isn't that the oddest thing? Even my beloved...

 

 

...in the former Capital of the Confederacy doesn't

open its doors until 9:00 am each day.

 

Reminds me of the Mark Twainism (?) of when

the end of the world comes, he wants to be in

Virginia because everything in Virginia happens

25 years later.

 
 



Funny you should mention that.
 
I was referring to Sunday hours at the other coffee houses.  Rostov's remains closed all day on Sundays.

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 3:19 PM
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mar52

Anyone in Virginia ever hear of Hi's (or High's) Ice Cream?

Hey Marlene, I wrote to my cousin in Moneta, VA to ask about High's.  There was one shop in Bedford where our grandmother used to take us for ice cream.  My cousin said that store's been gone for 30+ years -- and that it wasn't the best ice cream in town, but the only ice cream in town!    Chris



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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 3:35 PM
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mar52

Anyone in Virginia ever hear of Hi's (or High's) Ice Cream?

Back in 1960 it was the place to go in Hopewell or Petersburg (I forget which) for ice cream.  They had a special cone that held 3 small scoops of different flavored ice cream.  Something that still makes me smile 50 years later.

If it is the same High's that I remember, it is still around, well sort of.  They became High's Dairy Store, basically a convenience store like 7-11, but a little friendlier.  They were all around Virginia, DC and Maryland as late as the mid 80's, now it appears that they are only located around Baltimore.  The one that was near my house sold the best halfsmokes I have ever had.

mar52
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Wed, 05/19/10 3:54 PM
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Very cool!  High's is one of my childhood food memories.

Any ice cream to a kid is good ice cream!  It's only of late that I've become picky.

Nice to know that they're still around in whatever incarnation.





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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Thu, 05/20/10 9:10 PM
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Monday May 10

This is the last chapter of the trip.

I was heading to the Hampton Roads area today to spend all day exploring the area since my flight didn't leave out of Norfolk until 8pm.

I started out my day at Black Hand Coffee Company in Richmond, also in the fan district. This was a real bohemian down-and-out coffee house. They really were down and out- no dark roasts - no muffins- no scones- only danish (several kinds though)- no raw sugar too!  I regretted not returning to Shockoe Slip Coffee Roasters, since I really enjoyed their iced coffee the previous Friday. It would have been worth the schlep through downtown.

Unfortunately while I was in Richmond I reviewed my triple A guide which warned me that the Nauticus Museum in Norfolk and the Naval Shipyard Museum in Portsmouth are both closed on Mondays, however the Mariner Museum in Newport News is open!
right????!!!!



Wrong!!!!

My triple A book lied- I got there and they were closed on Mondays!

On to plan B. I drove down to Portsmouth and took a stroll around their old town area....

and walked by their closed Naval Shipyard museum



As I was taking this photo- this guy waddled up to me- "quacking away"




I'm not sure which warship this is but it was adjacent to the museum.



Here are some photos of old town Portsmouth





This is William Crawford, the founder of Portsmouth










With all this walking around  town, I was getting hungry and lunchtime was approaching...

I drove across the bridge to Norfolk and found my way to this oyster bar



A.W Shucks. Although there is a similar restaurant in Charleston SC with the same name (and one in Dallas too if I recall), they are unaffiliated with eachother....

I entered the place and it definitely had a "roadfoody" atmosphere...

I perused the specials board



But this is one of the few places I went to where I already knew what I wanted...



I sat down and enjoyed a local brew- It was an India Pale Ale but I can't remember the name of the brewing company...

I started out with the tomato crab soup



Just loaded with hunks of fresh crabmeat, with strong hits of old bay and worcestershire  in the zesty tomato stock. It was probably one of the best , if not the best crab soups I've ever had...

Now to enjoy what I've been waiting for...



The crab shucks dinner.
This is AW Shuck's version of Crab Norfolk. Crabmeat baked  in garlic  butter.

This was one of the best meals of the trip. The dish was not overflowing with copious amounts of butter or overbearing garlic but had just the right amount of each. The meal came with choice of two sides. The Hushpuppies were crisp-plump- and moist- and filled with cornmeally goodness. The collards were just about perfect- with hints of pork flavor.

Here's a closeup of the Crab Norfolk




Although I shelled out $40 for this meal it included beer, tax and tip and it was well worth it!

After my amazing lunch I was a few minutes away from downtown Norfolk. I ended up at



The Douglas McArthur Memorial and Museum...

Although I didn't know much about the man, I certainly learned alot from walking around the museum.




I had no idea that General McArthur's wife died just a decade ago and lived to be 101!





There is is famous pipe

After leaving the museum I headed towards the riverfront....
I was surprised by all the mermaid statues around downtown Norfolk..



As I was strolling the Waterfront, I noticed this old warship being towed...



I also walked by the closed Nauticus Museum




and adjacent to the Museum,



The USS Wisconsin...

After strolling around the waterfront, I wanted to see if Harbor Park was open....






Harbor Park is the home of the Norfolk Tides, the triple A team for the Baltimore Orioles. Unfortunately the Ballpark wasn't open
and there was no way to gain access into the park..

After walking back towards downtown,  it was approaching 5pm and I decided to head out of downtown for my last meal of the trip...




The Willoughby Inn



Located in a real rough and tumble waterfront neighborhood with other dives and seafood shacks, The Willoughby Inn has been around "forever" and is known for their fresh cheap seafood...



Entering through the bar, there is a separate entrance to the restaurant. The daily specials are listed on the board




 Although the interior has character it definitely needs some updating..

The meal starts with a nice bread tray



which includes buttered toast, cornbread and some decent hushpuppies...

I ordered the Fried Oyster Dinner...



The Fried Oysters were excellent - nuggets of fresh oyster meat encased in a crunchy fried batter, on par with the Yaquina Oysters I enjoyed at Dan and Louis in Portland OR a few years ago... Unfortunately the fries and the



coleslaw that came with the meal were just "ho-hum" and the slight hint of onion in the coleslaw didn't help matters..

Although I was dissappointed that they didn't have the peanut butter pie that was listed on the menu....



I have to say that the moist and chocolatey German Chocolate Cake quickly made me forget that. It was  a nice finish to a fantastic trip...

After dinner, it was a short 8 mile drive back to the airport...... And I was back home by 11:15PM...


These are the food highlights of the trip

I still say the best meal was at Mama Mary's   even though there were a couple of misses, the sweet potato pie and peach cobbler just put it right over the edge.
AW Shucks comes close and The Surrey House was not too far behind.
Best BBQ- undoubtedly Pierce's Pitt BBQ

Unfortunately the "What the Frig??" award goes to Phillips' Continental Lounge...

<message edited by wanderingjew on Fri, 05/21/10 8:57 AM>

buffetbuster
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 8:13 AM
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WJ-
I agree that Mama Mary's was my #1 on the trip, with Pierce's Pitt being the best bbq.  BTW, beautiful photos!

Nancypalooza
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 9:46 AM
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Yes, that looks like a lovely day out with some lovely seafood!

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 11:18 AM
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Great report.  Those fried oysters  look wonderful...........one of my favorite foods.  I must be odd as I do not like Pierces barbeque at all; however, my son loves it.

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 11:54 AM
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I love the swath that you guys have cut through Virginia!  That country ham plate at Surrey House and those sides at mama Mary's looked amazing!  I wonder if the ice cream you had at Carl's might have been Dole Whip?

If you guys make it up to the city we should do a soul food tour of Harlem: chicken & waffles, red velvet cakes, yams, collards, you get the idea!!

buffetbuster
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 12:39 PM
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Greymo-
WJ and I agree that we both really like the pork bbq sandwiches and the sweet potato sticks, but don't like any other sides at Pierce's Pitt.

I seem to visit every three years or so and parking lot just keeps getting bigger and bigger. 

buffetbuster
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 12:41 PM
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billyboy

If you guys make it up to the city we should do a soul food tour of Harlem: chicken & waffles, red velvet cakes, yams, collards, you get the idea!!
You have officially gotten my attention.  I would love that!


mar52
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 3:43 PM
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If I had $40 and I was on the other side of the country you know where I'd be eating.

WJ that looks amazing!

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 4:45 PM
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i95


wanderingjew


Although there were other coffee houses I wanted to check out, I  had to return to Lamplighter Roasting because all the other coffee houses didn't open until 9AM.
 

 

 

Isn't that the oddest thing? Even my beloved...

 

 

...in the former Capital of the Confederacy doesn't

open its doors until 9:00 am each day.

 

Reminds me of the Mark Twainism (?) of when

the end of the world comes, he wants to be in

Virginia because everything in Virginia happens

25 years later.

 
 



That is the God's honest truth!
I am taking notes as I read this thread and will post my own prespective (# 3!) ASAP. Probably Monday. Sorry I've not chimed in before - haven't been on the board all week.
 
Cathy  <--- seriously - you can use my name guys! 

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 4:48 PM
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BelRose


mar52

Anyone in Virginia ever hear of Hi's (or High's) Ice Cream?

Back in 1960 it was the place to go in Hopewell or Petersburg (I forget which) for ice cream.  They had a special cone that held 3 small scoops of different flavored ice cream.  Something that still makes me smile 50 years later.

If it is the same High's that I remember, it is still around, well sort of.  They became High's Dairy Store, basically a convenience store like 7-11, but a little friendlier.  They were all around Virginia, DC and Maryland as late as the mid 80's, now it appears that they are only located around Baltimore.  The one that was near my house sold the best halfsmokes I have ever had.


I just found out today(!) that the last surviving High's is in Portsmouth, VA. I'm going to put it on the list of places to try "real soon"! OMG! I hadn't thought of those wacky cones in decades!
Cathy 

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 7:36 PM
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WJ & BB

My Uncle lives in Louisa, VA (outside Richmond) he has been after me for a while to come for a visit.  Your trip reports make me want to escape to VA and get lost in the food and the history.

Thanks

mr chips
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Fri, 05/21/10 7:46 PM
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Looks like a lot of good eats.

Williamsburger
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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/24/10 4:32 PM
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billyboy


I love the swath that you guys have cut through Virginia!  That country ham plate at Surrey House and those sides at mama Mary's looked amazing!  I wonder if the ice cream you had at Carl's might have been Dole Whip?

If you guys make it up to the city we should do a soul food tour of Harlem: chicken & waffles, red velvet cakes, yams, collards, you get the idea!!


If you do this, I'll try to be there. I'm not the travelin' kinda person these two guys are, but I'll see if I can work it out.
Cathy

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/24/10 4:34 PM
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CajunKing


WJ & BB

My Uncle lives in Louisa, VA (outside Richmond) he has been after me for a while to come for a visit.  Your trip reports make me want to escape to VA and get lost in the food and the history.

Thanks


You really can get lost in the history. Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown....
Dale hit some of what I'd think of as the more obscure sites.
Cathy

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/24/10 4:56 PM
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Williamsburger


CajunKing


WJ & BB

My Uncle lives in Louisa, VA (outside Richmond) he has been after me for a while to come for a visit.  Your trip reports make me want to escape to VA and get lost in the food and the history.

Thanks


You really can get lost in the history. Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown....
Dale hit some of what I'd think of as the more obscure sites.
Cathy

 
Exactly..
 
I had visited Williamsburg back in 2003. I spent an entire day there and easily could have gone back and spent at least another half a day there.
 
I didn't think an afternoon visit to Jamestown and Yorktown would have covered enough ground for me, so I went with the plantation tour.

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Mon, 05/24/10 9:21 PM
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Wow, these all look some classic places, now I need to bookmark this thread. I am going to Virginia tomorrow, but I won't be close to any of these places. It may take a while before I get to check them out. Thanks guys.

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 05/25/10 8:12 AM
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What an enjoyable trip report, WJ.  Loved all the historic photos and the food pics as well!!

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Thu, 05/27/10 1:53 PM
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OK, I finally get to write up my trip report!
 
First of all - the photo of myself , Terry and Cliff? - I'm much happier than I look!
I look like I'm going to be sick over the side of the boat.
 
I order of apperarence on Dale's report
Spot - can't avoid the bones. I them remember as a kid. Very hard to fillet.
Richmond Flying Squirrels - possible the most ridiculous name for a sports team ever.
(MHO)
Buz&Ned's - I recognized Dale from photos on the board, of course. We had a good time chatting and sharing the sweet potato fries (which I love) before Cliff showed up. It was nice that the guys appreciate history as much as I and Terry do. They were also very nice not to critize too harshly a place I where enjoying eating. I really like the spare ribs at B&N's (decided I *don't* really like baby backs) and the bourbon apples (my suggestion). I found the guys discussion about sweet cooked apples (esp. at breakfast) being particular a Southern thing very interesting. I agree that the pulled pork and the cole slaw were average. I think their are other BBQ places in Richmond that would be as good or better.
Hmmmm. BBQ crawl through Richmond?
I think food in general is a very subjective and BBQ in particular. The only more debated foods are hot dogs and pizza.
Somebody got it already but - Arthur Ashe! I still think the cut off children are kinda disturbing.
Visiting the UofR - it is considered one of the most beautiful campuses on the east coast.
Mama Mary's - going on the list! That sweet potato pie -OMG!
So is Goorich's. And we will have to go back to Pierce's since you all have been raving about it!
John Marshall House is right behind my workplace - the Library of Virginia (aka the State library and archives).
I think Dale explained the "Fan" pretty well. The main roads through downtown run paralell until Monroe Park when Monument&Grace go one way and Min and Cary go another and new street fork off in between so it looks like a fan (or a spreading tree) on a map. This very diverse area is full of trendy restaurants and old neighborhood establishments. Rich old families and boho student types live side by side. Great architecture. Interesting history. Site of many counter culture protests. Sorry, more than you wanted to know.
BuffetBuster nailed by Homeland Security! Or the VDOT equivilent.
Peanut soup - yeah "warm peanut butter" is a pretty good description. I've had better (unfortunately at the now "turned into a coffeehouse Shield's Tavern"). It can be jazzed up with a little cayenne.
I think Your picture is of Terry's baked chicken. I had ham biscuits which were really wonderful - salty ham and the soft roll, yum! My lunch also can with an apple fritter which is a dessert unto itself, so we took the peanut pie home. Peanut pie is very much like pecan pie - but with peanuts. There's a place in town that does a chocolate version.
The stewed tomatos at Surrey house are born out of the 18th & 19th century "puddings" I think. I've been looking for a old recipe, but can't find one.
The James River at Shirley Plantation - very narrow! When we crossed the ferry the river is a mile wide and at the mouth it is 5 miles.
Tanglewood's BBQ - anyone from Texas would need to be warned! 
Aw, shucks - going on the list!
BillyBoy - I'd love to try a soul food in Harlem tour!
 
Well those are quick notes based on scribblings I didi while reading the thread a week ago! HA!
 
Had fun! Anytime anyone wants a native guide LMK!
Cathy
 
 
 
 

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 06/1/10 9:51 AM
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This trip report is so informative.  Thanks, WJ!  Only a couple of comments:  the Willoughby Inn's atmosphere looks so fantastic,  I wouldn't dare want anyone to touch it.  I love that old pine paneling and beautiful lighting with the gorgeous turquoise tablecloths!  I want to make a special trip just to experience the place and those awesome oysters.

On another note, the picture you posted of the cornbread at Mama Mary's included Country Crock spreads.  UGH!!!!  Based on our experience of eating literally all over this country, it's getting harder and harder to find real butter at Roadfood establishments.  This may be our #1 complaint.  You have this wonderful bread and the only thing they give you is chemical laced fake butter. It's even gotten to the point that waitstaff don't even know what real butter is!!!  You ask for it, they say yes, they have it; order the baked potato and they put the CC on the plate.  You say, "that's not real butter."  They say, "Yes, it is.".  Aaarrrgghh!  Every summer I beg my husband to bring his own butter with us on our road trips - he refuses saying the restaurant ought to have it.   

Sorry to rant on your wonderful report, but that picture really brought it all back....

And, in the world of VA BBQ, we just discovered yesterday, the delicious pork served at Cowling's on US 460 in Waverly, VA.  It's a keeper on the way to OBX.

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Re:Double Damage in the Old Dominion - Tue, 06/1/10 10:15 AM
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VAsils

Thanks for the compliment.

I've noticed the substitution for real butter too, however I noticed it specifically more down south than in other regions of the country, so I've decided to to just accept it.

The Willoughby Inn has great atmosphere,however I noticed some of the booths were a somewhat worn , more than what I would consider " acceptable" , I guess I should have been more specific. But the oysters, bread tray and dessert were fantastic.

I found a website  with their menu- although it looks like the menu is an old one- prices are little higher now.

http://rkpuma.com/AAA/WilloughbyInn/